Simple Phones..Busy Life

Dear Ms. Smartphone: Do you think it’s a good idea to get a second phone, like a retro model that just does text and calls? I just heard about this and it intrigued me as a way to cut back my time online. TC, Tiburon

Dear TC: There was an extended story in the Wall St. Journal on minimalist phones. The idea is that you can be less distracted and more focused with a smaller gadget. Some time ago, I suggested provisional phones for pre-teens, a similar idea. Some of the new stripped down phones cost more than $300. – nothing basic there! However, you could opt for an old-fashioned clamshell model that costs under $50. Before you do this, take an inventory of the apps you ‘Must Have.’ For me, that’s GPS, plus Uber and Lyft. I could download music to a different device, and carry a pocket flashlight, but I leave modern society without GPS and Rideshare.

A Contest or a Con?

It’s ironical that we are using our phones to read about a contest that challenges us to give up our phones. If you win, it sounds like you can use a flip-phone during the one year hiatus, so you will not be in total abstinence.

Here’s the “why” we are running this contest from Vitaminwater. Note: they are owned by Coca-Cola, and it sounds like a savvy marketing ploy you can drink up!

“Did you know 1 out of 2 people say they couldn’t live without their smartphone? yikes. break the cycle with scroll-free life solutions™ by vitaminwater. how do I enter? it’s simple! share on twitter or instagram what you’d do instead of scrolling with hashtags #nophoneforayear and #contest. go scroll-free for a year, prove it, and you could win $100k. live the life you’ve always dreamed and more. (check out our rules. lie detector test included.)”

 The good news…. no purchase is necessary to participate!

Dear Smartphone: Family Plan Matter

DEAR MS. SMARTPHONE:  YOU HAD A POST ABOUT ALL THE NEW PHONES ON THE MARKET THIS FALL AND WHETHER WE  NEED ONE. MY PROBLEM IS A BIT DIFFERENT:  I HAVE PICKED OUT A PARTICULAR PHONE TO GET, BUT MY WIFE AND EXTENDED FAMILY USE A PHONE WITH A DIFFERENT OPERATING SYSTEM. THEY ARE TRYING TO TALK ME OUT OF MY PREFERRED PHONE.   Lemar, Cotati

Dear Lemar: I can relate to this, because the same thing happened to me several years ago. If you are experienced with your phone’s operating system (OS), then you should be able to bridge potential problems like transferring pictures, sharing music, and getting real-time notifications. Continue reading “Dear Smartphone: Family Plan Matter”